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Copper Spur UL2
The Copper Spur UL2 from Big Agnes is an ultralight, free standing, three season backpacking tent with plenty of room, but won't weigh you down. The UL2 is designed to comfortable sleep two people with plenty of headroom. Features DAC featherlight NSL pole system with Twist Clips and HClip attachments to tent body. The Copper Spur UL2 has two doors and two vestibules for easy entry/exit and gear storage. Also features interior mesh pockets and gear loops. It comes with all seams taped and includes reflective guy lines.
Trail Weight: 3lb 6oz (1.53 kg)
Packed Weight: 3lb 13oz (1.73 kg)
Footprint Weight: 5oz (141.7 g)
Fast Fly Weight: 2lb 8oz (1.13 kg)
Packed Size: 7 in. x 22 in. (17.8 cm x 55.9 cm)
Floor Area: 29 sq ft (2.7 sq m)
Floor Dimensions: 52 in. x 90 in. (132.1 cm x 106.7 cm)
Vestibule Area: 9 sq ft x2 (.84 sq m x2)
Head Height: 42 in. (106.7 cm)
Stakes: 10 ultralight DAC aluminum j stakes
Poles: DAC featherlight TH72M aluminum NSL pole system
Fly Material: Silicone treated nylon rip-stop w/1200mm coating
Floor Material: Silicone treated nylon rip-stop w/1200mm coating
Body Material: Ultra lightweight nylon and polyester mesh
Initial Thoughts (07/15/11):
I eagerly awaited delivery of my Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2, but to my dismay the shipping company dropped it off at the incorrect address. Luckily they were able to find it the following day, and I jumped right in and set it up. It is definitely a light tent comprised of very lightweight fabrics and components. You can make out shapes through the slightly translucent tent and fly walls, but it still affords plenty of privacy. I found it easy to set up especially with the two ends of the tent color coded. In the interest of weight savings, Big Agnes has simplified the zippers on the Copper Spur to the bare minimum. They have a lightweight fabric pull tied directly to the zipper (as opposed to being tied to the metal or plastic zipper pull tab first). It works okay, but takes some getting used to.
The rain fly was a little tricky to put on due the center pole being difficult to insert into the fly. But once on, it is easy to tension at the four corner buckles and with the included guy lines (x4). I am just shy of 6 feet tall and found it easy to get in under the vestibule. The fly zips closed and also has several hook-and-loop closures to secure the flap that covers the zipper. It is easy to open from both the inside and outside. I really like the amount of headroom and the nearly vertical side walls. It makes the Copper Spur feel roomier than a standard dome tent with the same sized floor.
Initial Field Test (07/16/11):
The inaugural trip for our Copper Spur UL2 was a rough one, but is passed with flying colors. We used it on Mount Adams at about 8,600 feet in elevation in 30 to 40 mile per hour winds. Setup in the windy conditions was not as bad as I had anticipated. We purchased the factory foot print so after staking it down, we next setup the poles utilizing the footprint grommets to create a skeleton frame. Then we clipped the tent to the poles and attached the fly and guy lines. Having the footprint really helped, not to mention the protection if affords the bottom of the tent. The included ultralight DAC stakes work fine in normal dirt, but sandy or snowy conditions require different stakes. We brought along four SMC snow stakes and between the lot were able to keep the tent secure and taut in the wind.
One thing to note is the Copper Spur UL2 is not a quiet tent in the wind. The lightweight fabric creaks and moans as it is bombarded by gusting wind. It's not to the point of being too loud to sleep, but it is audible. the Copper Spur is a 3 season tent and the conditions we had on Mount Adams were more akin to using a 4 season or mountaineering tent. Through the night we had snow/sleet/hail/rain, but the Copper Spur stood it's ground and kept us cozy and dry inside. The temperature dipped below freezing, but we did not have any condensation issues. In the morning, the fly fabric appeared as though it had wet through, but it was just an illusion. The rain and hail had just changed the look of the fabric, but had not penetrated. In all, I am very impressed with how the Copper Spur performed on our Mount Adams trip. I look forward to using it on mellower summer backpacking trips.
See Mount Adams adventure where the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 tent was used.
Extended Field Testing:
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